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Dystopian Fiction story

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Dystopian Fiction story
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BendraconisUser avatarPosts: 39Joined: Tue Feb 12, 2013 10:00 pmLocation: Wirral Gender: Male

Post Dystopian Fiction story

I saw Saul's story so i decided to show my own efforts on the writing front. Hope you like it. Here it is.



The wind whispered its secrets to the branches of the trees and the two moons shone down onto a mirror that rippled as the wind gushed and eddied. Ivan ran. His clothes tore upon brambles which scratched against his face as he raced away. Ivan slowed, as he looked behind him a ragged breath caught in his throat. He listened intently for the tell-tale sounds of any followers. He breathed heavily as he slid down the corpse golden birch. The dry earth billowed in plumes of dust as he laid his weary body down. The light from the two moons shone down upon him. The moon illuminated his face but could not penetrate the dark shadowy hollows of his eyes. His eyes flickered and the sleep carried him upon downy wings into darkness.
He awoke to a steel sword which had been thrust against his throat, the icy tip resting like a viper against his skin. The man holding it was tall and thin and wore a uniform of dark black velvet. These robes billowed around him as he stood looking down at Ivan. “You have been found guilty of an act of faith and of fleeing justice.” The tall man stated calmly. Ivan gulped; he knew what happened to those who believed and spoke out for their faith. He stood, sword still pressed against his throat and walked forwards down into the pinioning arms of another man also wearing the long black robes. A wooden cudgel smashed down upon his head and the world went dark.
He awoke to pain. Soft sensuous burning pain. Ivan opened his eyes he tried to stand; his hands pushed down on cold stone and then were forced back by chains he could not see.The robed man stood in front of Ivan,before turning his back on Ivan as he bent down. With a crackle of sparks fire had been kindled in the hearth. Which burnt bright and hot but was too far away to alleviate the burning cold of the marble slab. The fire was the only illumination as it flickered across the bare stone walls.Iron pokers glowed cherry red in the flame. The man lifted a poker, turned and looked at Ivan.
“Do you wish to accept the charges given?” Ivan kept still not moving a muscle knowing it would be foolish to do so. The poker crept closer and closer to his skin till it made blistering contact. His skin blackened and smouldered the poker was removed and the harbinger of death stepped forward and rubbed an abrasive granular powder into the weeping wound. Mind shattering pain erupted as it dissolved inside the body.
“This could end with no more bloodshed. Just tell me. Do you accept the charge?” He asked again as he returned the poker to the brimstone, his uniform swished as he turned to the hearth. As he stoked the flames sparks climbed higher shedding a faint glow and revealing a wooden door darkened and pitted with age. The tip of the poker was white hot and as the tall gaunt man lifted it closer and closer to Ivan’s eye. Beads of sweat rolled down his face as the poker loomed close and closer filling his vision with its glowing tip.
“Do you wish to see? Or shall your faith save you?” He asked Ivan mockingly. Ivan looked past the poker and into his face. A face that held no earthly fear just acceptance of life and of the world. He decided to say nothing because he had always been taught to accept his lot in life. The man looked at Ivan,then with savage glee plunged the poker into his face.
Upon impact the eye was pulverized and one half of the world went black. Thick slimy jelly slid down his face. The white hot poker burnt through layer upon layer of skin filling Ivan’s nostrils with the stench of burnt flesh. Blood boiled as the wound was instantly cauterised. A roar of pure pain erupted from Ivan lips. Ivan whimpered as the dull throb of pain set in. He laid the poker to rest away from the flame. Shelves protruded from the walls laden with knives, hammers, nails and bottles of exotically coloured powders and liquids. From one of these shelves the man picked up a scalpel its blade glinting in the firelight.
“You have forgone a chance of repentance. I shall now have the honor of breaking you down and building you back up in our image.” The man leaned over Ivan with flames burning in his eyes. The scalpel descended and cut a line down his arm up to the base of his hand, his other limbs were treated thusly and then the man’s hands descended parting skin from flesh. A ruby dripped from the end of the scalpel.
Mon Mar 11, 2013 9:11 pm
BendraconisUser avatarPosts: 39Joined: Tue Feb 12, 2013 10:00 pmLocation: Wirral Gender: Male

Post Re: Dystopian Fiction story

Does any one have any critiques for me?
Sun Mar 24, 2013 9:03 pm
NothPodcasterUser avatarPosts: 335Joined: Mon Aug 30, 2010 4:25 pmLocation: the Nether-regions Gender: Male

Post Re: Dystopian Fiction story

The wind whispered its secrets to the branches of the trees (I see what you're trying to do here, but be mindful of longwinded victorian stretches. I still do this too often myself and when it works, it works, but more often than not it hampers understanding)

and the two moons shone down onto a mirror that rippled (alternatively, to avoid strained constructions like "a mirror that rippled", you could make it more fluid by saying something like "the two moons were reflected in a rippling mirror". It is still clear that you mean water, but you've used a slightly different construction.)

Ivan ran. (All right. I'm down with alternating between really short, to the point sentences and longer ones, but make sure that this juxtaposition alongside your longer, more flowery sentences is used for the effect that it creates: it makes the shorter sentences jump out a lot. If this is what you intend, fine. Otherwise consider integrating these shorter fragments into other sentences.

His clothes tore upon brambles which scratched against his face as he raced away. (It looks like the brambles do two things: tear his clothes and scratch his face. Can you rewrite this so that 'brambles' is the subject of the sentence? I think that would make the sentence work better.)

Ivan slowed, as he looked behind him a ragged breath caught in his throat. (Comma splice where indicated. if you replace the comma with 'and' or insert a period instead the sentence works again. Right now they are two main clauses connected with a comma.

He listened intently
He breathed heavily

(There's a golden rule I was once taught: 90% of the time, when you need to use an adverb to spice up a verb you are using the wrong verb ;). This is NOT to say adverbs are bad. I love me some adverbs, but see if you can find verbs that do the trick without having to add an adverb next to it. As a hint: "He breathed heavily" could be something like "He panted".

The dry earth billowed in plumes of dust Nice! Billowed works well here, I feel.

The light from the two moons shone down upon him. The moon illuminated ( 1. I assume a typo that the second sentence suddenly has only 1 moon doing the illuminating? ;) 2. As with the earlier comment on brambles, you have the moons doing two things. Can you combine the sentences in a way to make it more compact?

The moon illuminated his face but could not penetrate the dark shadowy hollows of his eyes. His eyes flickered and the sleep carried him upon downy wings into darkness. (again, try not to overdo the floweriness. I like hollows, I like em dark, heck, I even like em shadowy, but the feel it creates is somewhat negated by "downy wings" in the sentence following, which could work well enough if it was on its own. Also, I assume you added the "the" by accident ;)

He awoke to a steel sword which had been thrust against his throat ("which had been" feels unnecessary)

The man holding it was tall and thin and wore a uniform of dark black velvet. These robes billowed around him as he stood looking down at Ivan. {Number of things here. First, I think it's implied in 'black' that the color is dark. To specifically add it borders on a tautology. Second, as with the two earlier examples, I think you can combine the two sentences here seeing as how you end with a description of his outfit and start the next sentence with the clothes again. Lastly, you can avoid the 'of' construction here by saying something like "a black velvet uniform" instead.




Leaving it at this first. A lot of the points I mentiond apply to the rest of the text, I feel.
Feel free to disregard any of it, of course, as it is your writing. However, I personally benefitted a lot from very specific feedback like this and, should I ever post anything here, I hope to be scrutinised extensively as well :P

We'll see if I get to the rest of it. Hope this helps :)
Mon Mar 25, 2013 1:07 am
BendraconisUser avatarPosts: 39Joined: Tue Feb 12, 2013 10:00 pmLocation: Wirral Gender: Male

Post Re: Dystopian Fiction story

Thanks this will help a lot much appreciated
Mon Mar 25, 2013 11:10 am
LaurensSocial EditorUser avatarPosts: 2948Joined: Sat Mar 20, 2010 11:24 pmLocation: Norwich UK Gender: Male

Post Re: Dystopian Fiction story

I think its difficult for me to really get into the scene without some further establishment of the characters and setting.

What is this dystopia? What does it feel like to live there? Who is Ivan? Why should we care about his torture? What are the circumstances of these events?

If I were given more time to get a picture of this world in my head, and of Ivan---more so, if I was given the chance to get to like Ivan---The scene you describe might have more of an emotional impact on me.

You write well, but that is only a percentage of what goes into a gripping story. I think if you developed Ivan as a character this scene would have a greater impact, and it would make much more sense if the reader knew why this sort of thing happens in this dystopian world.

Essentially what I am saying is expand it! Make it longer and go into more depth. Give the reader a good glimpse of this world, and get them to become attached to Ivan and this will have a much greater impact.
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Sat Apr 13, 2013 12:18 pm
SaulPosts: 6Joined: Sun Apr 05, 2009 7:06 pm

Post Re: Dystopian Fiction story

Hi Bendraconis, sorry it's taken so long to reply. I just haven't been on the site recently.

That's a fantastic start. It quickly draws the reader into a world you have clearly developed in your own mind. You are clearly trying very hard to provide a deep sensory range for the reader but be careful not to repeat yourself too often or contradict yourself by describing an experience in two different ways which don't quite match up. There is a point where you describe the protagonist roaring in pain and then having the dull pain set in. I would think it's one or the other....the pain is instant and harsh or slow to arise.
Don't use the same word too often either. You've used billowed a couple of times in quick succession. Avoid that.
If the character being tortured is your main protagonist I probably wouldn't start with this because the reader is not yet invested in them as a person, so they don't care about his torture. Give a little more about his life, who he is, how we can relate to him before you have something like this happen to him.
Lastly just a point of jurisprudence; you don't have someone found guilty and then ask him to respond to the charges. You either have him respond first or you don't bother having him respond at all as it's no longer a charge when you've been found guilty, it's a sentence.

Hope this helps. Keep up the good work. I want to hear more about this world you have constructed.
Sun May 12, 2013 2:27 pm
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